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Saturday July 29, 2017

Hope you'll join us, at Wells Hall. Singles, couples, first-timers, and experienced dancers; All are Welcome. No partner needed; Alcohol and smoke-free; Workshop for newcomers (see below.) We have a great time, dancers, caller, and musicians too! Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

ERIC CURL will teach and call the dances. His effective low-key dance teaching, long experience, and repertoire adaptable to any dance crowd, have made him a favorite at dances in South Sound, Seattle, and throughout the Northwest. I've danced to him many times, especially in Tacoma and Olympia, and I've enjoyed myself every time. You just can't go wrong, dancing to Eric's calling.

THE BAND, as is the tradition here at the Fifth Saturday Dance, brings together the contra repertoire of the Northeast along with tunes from the our own region. We call our contra tune repertoire Northwest and Yankee music.

Fiddler Vivian Williams was a member of Pleasures of Home, the band that founded the Fifth Saturday dance in the mid 1990's, and its successor band Small Pleasures. By the breadth of her taste and knowledge in traditional fiddle music, she has served as a bridge between our own region's music and the New England music that most often is the basis for contra dancing. With her late husband Phil Williams (d. Feb 2017) she also played for dances in the bands Chassez and Notatious, and before that in the final year of Salmonberry. She has unearthed, researched, and republished several tune manuscripts from the pioneer era in the Northwest (from which we have "mined" several tunes in our set-list.) Vivian is currently Senior-Senior class fiddle champion of the United States.

Melodeon player Phil Katz was a founder of the initial Saturday contradance series in Puget Sound (the Salmonberry Second Saturday dance begun in Seattle's University Friends' Meeting House in 1980.) He got his 1978 start playing for contras sitting in with the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra in New Hampshire. Since that time he has played in Scotsbroome, Pleasures of Home, Small Pleasures, Grey Owl, Common Ground, Fresh Cider, Sleeping Giant, Full Scale, and Paddy's Handcar. He dances regularly in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia.

On piano will be Terry Wergeland, the third member of Vivian and Phil's band Chassez. He brings an uncommon mix of musical creativity and rock-solid traditional dance rhythm support. It was he who brought together, and backed on piano, the contra dance bands that payed in Phil Williams' memory in the months after his demise. He also plays in Wink At The Moon (one of my personal favorite contra dance bands) and has taught students who have gone on to be regular dance players, themselves.

Our band will play "close to the dance and the dancers", choosing tunes to match the dance chosen by the caller, and styling the music to support the dancers as each dance evolves. It is a pleasure to play for our friends out on the dance floor.

Specifics on the Event:

The Fifth Saturday Contra Dance will be held at Christ Church Wells Hall, 310 North K Street, Tacoma - directions below. It is well-known as one of the sweetest halls in Puget Sound. (Note: It's the same location as the Tacoma Contra Dance that's held mostly on Third Saturdays.)

The dance will run from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. The cost is $9.00, with a $2.00 discount for 18 down and 65 up. As always, a 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it.

There will be a newcomers' intro-lesson at 7:30 pm. Contra dancing is "not rocket science", and by the third dance, anyone looking out over the crowd will likely be unable to tell who just learned that evening! Eric Curl is easy to learn from, in terms of his knowledge, his considerate manner, and his easy charm. We are proud of the tradition of asking newcomers and visitors to dance, and looking after them on the dance floor. (Experienced dancers often bring friends they've been wanting to introduce to contra dancing, and help out by dancing in the mini-lesson.)

OK a few notices . . .

Please avoid wearing scented products (e.g. perfume, aftershave, cologne, scented hand lotion) to the Fifth Saturday Contra Dance. (Dancing, being aerobic, magnifies their scent, and also the effect of the solvents used therein!) Some dancers are hypersensitive or allergic to such products.

A word about children's attendance: It is fine for older children and teenagers who are comfortable interacting with adults on their own. However, it is not appropriate for small children unless they are on the sidelines supervised by adults at all times.

A caution on parking: The street right across from the hall has been posted as a "residents only" zone, so please don't park there - tickets have been given. There is plenty of parking on adjacent streets, and there are spots behind the church as well.

Directions to Wells Hall   

310 North "K" Street, Tacoma

From Seattle, "Eastside" of Lake Washington, or Des Moines

I-5 south to exit 133 (Tacoma City Center). Then take I-705 and the Schuster Parkway exit on the right (still called I-705). From there again stay right and take the Stadium Way (first) exit from Schuster Pkwy. At the top of the exit ramp, turn right. The street goes up hill. Follow it til it ends, then swing left onto North 1st. You pass Stadium Thriftway and a Chevrolet lot, and then merge into Division at a traffic light. Continue on Division, turn right onto North "K". Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Enter the dance through the church courtyard.

From Olympia

Take Interstate 5 to Tacoma, exit 132 (Route 16-Gig Harbor exit), which is quite a bit south of the center of Tacoma. Head for Route 16 (skipping the S 38th St exit); once in the curving exit ramp, keep your eyes peeled for the immediate first exit (1A); to Sprague Avenue. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

From West of the Narrows Bridge

Follow Rt 16 across the Narrows Bridge. Take exit 1A for Sprague Ave. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (?? or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

For more information please contact:
Phil Katz - - 206 722 8228.
(you know what to do with the ZZZ)

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Last modified 07/12/17.